I wrote to them this morning. I will let you all know if I get a response. I will continue to write to them and others till we are heard. I have proven over 7yrs I will not go away or stop. I have no intention to now.
"To the leader of Alberta and the leader of this beautiful country I have always called home. My name is Nicole. I am a 39yr old mother to 4 absolutely beautiful children. I am also a voice to victims of childhood abuse, rape, domestic violence and of the Children and Family Services of Alberta as well as a voice for justice for those the police ignore in their duties to serve and protect.
I was born and raised in this beautiful country that I always thought was a place of freedom and justice. I always trusted the justice system and those in charge of our government and working for government agencies. Call me naïve but I always thought truth would always conquer lies. Well I learned a hard truth this past September after a 7yr fight.
Just a little back history to understand where I am coming from. I was raised by a severely abusive mother. A woman that has gone on to abuse 7 children all total. Myself, 3 step children who are now adults and my first 3 children. Even though I went to authorities about the abuse many times(first time when I was 16, then again when I was 19, and again in 2013), and even though 5 of the 7 victims of this womans abuse came forward to police willing to testify and giving their statements in the 2013 investigation, and even though they had doctor reports of cigarette burns to a 3yr old(resulting in deep tissue trauma that was still there and not healed a year later), statements of having to eat thrown up dog food, statements of having urine soaked shirts wrapped around their heads till their eyes burned, statements from victims of repeated death threats, of being left out in sever cold and the elements with no protective clothes and in some cases just their underwear, pictures of one of the children in a malnourished state along with multiple bruising, statements of being tied to beds and chairs for hours on end, statements of being locked in rooms from 5pm at night till 7am in the morning with no access to bathroom. I could go on and on. This woman has never been charged. Not once. We the victims keep being told there is not enough evidence and that because of the fact she abused us all in different cities(though same province) they are required to split up the investigation so that the supporting evidence to the abuse of my kids does not help the step kids or my case. As well as the supporting history and evidence of the step kids case and my case(which shows the history and cycle of abuse) can not help my childrens case. My daughter who is 16 and was brave enough to go to police and give her statement is feeling totally abandoned by our justice system. The police excuse for not even talking to the abuser is that she refused to come in to the station. So a serial child abuser can walk free and not even be charged with her crimes just because she refuses to talk? Is that justice? 5 victims(4 of them adults) come forward to police willing to testify and still no charges are laid even with picture evidence, doctors reports, community witnesses and the victims own statements along with Child and Family Services records backing up everything stated is not enough to have an abuser charged so that the victims can have a voice at trial? Could you please explain to me why that is?
Again a bit of back story. Because of being raised in horrific abuse(only the tip of the iceburg is listed above), I followed the usual pattern and married someone who ended up also being an abuser. We had 3 beautiful children together but he was also an addict which I learned shortly after the birth of my 3rd son. I also have PTSD and Agoraphobia because of the abuse I was raised in and being raped at 12. After learning of the addictions of my husband I went to my doctor in Dec 2007, like we are advised too, to get help for post partum depression. I was depressed, not suicidal. He put me on medication. Both of us not realizing that I am susceptible to the rare side effects. One of the side effects of the medication he put me on was suicidal thoughts and tendencies. Within 2 months I was so depressed I was suicidal. But my doctor did not realize the medication was the issue. Because of that and my husband(at the time) addictions Child and Family Services stepped in. AS THEY SHOULD HAVE. I needed help. They removed my children and placed them with my mother, even though they knew her history of horrifically abusing myself and her previous step children. With in a few months my children stated to show the signs of trama and abuse. But my mother convinced CFS that I was abusing my children when I visited or called them. During this time the medication kept me in a deep depression and because of having a mental illness CFS prejudged me. They offered me no supports in the small town I resided in.
After a year and a half(in May of 2009) my new psychologist in a new city I moved too, realized that it was the medication and took me off of all of it. My life stabilized completely. The October previous I had got a new therapist and attended group therapy at the victims of domestic violence run in the Womens Shelter and continued to attend for over a year. I learned so much I left my ex and never looked back. I fought like crazy to get my children back but because of my mothers lies, the prejudice of the workers I never had a chance. I was not an addict. I was not a criminal. I had never abused my children, though my mother convinced them I had, all the while she was abusing them herself. I had to resort to video taping all visits(every week), audio taping all meetings with workers because the lies were coming from the workers themselves. But no matter what I did, regardless of legislation in the CFS Acts stating they are to do all they can to keep the domestic violence victim parent with the children, I lost the PGO in Nov of 2010. I was naïve to family court then and to working with lawyers. As soon as trial was over, yet a month before a verdict CFS cut my contact with my kids. No termination visit, no goodbye offered. Nothing. Yet no safety concerns noted.
Now I know most people will think this is just an angry abusive mom who rightfully lost her children complaining. That is where my story is different. After the PGO was granted and all contact terminated I still didn't give up. I knew it was granted on lies. And doing what any person would do if falsely accused and having their family ripped apart, I never stopped fighting to clear my name. My new partner(since the fall of 2009), and now fiancé, and I knew there was literally nothing we could say or do to prove my innocence. The prejudice against mental illness is that strong. That we decided the only way to prove I was not what I was accused of was to have another baby together. After 6 miscarriages we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy in the fall of 2012. 2 months prior to him being born I was made aware that in the spring of 2011, 5 months after the PGO was granted against me and the permanency plan was for my children to stay at my mothers, my children had been removed from her for exactly the horrific abuse that I and the step children had been saying was happening all along. I learned this from a community member who witnessed some of it. I had repeatedly emailed workers and called them asking for updates and to send gifts never once being told this happened. Because of my son showing signs of a cleft in utero though we did not contact CFS right away. Our community support worker(Bridges is what they are called and they are mandated reporters who are funded through CFS and who we brought into our home when we were 5 months pregnant) knew all of this. We decided to wait till he had his first 2 week check up at the Children's Hospital before contacting CFS in the town my kids had been at for re-evaluation. But my daughter(then 14) changed that by contacting us after he was only a week old via FB. She had been told I didn't want her, had abused her and could not take care of a child. She immediately demanded to see me. Her worker was not happy as she wanted my children to be adopted and told me straight to my face that it did not matter how the PGO was granted but that it was granted and my children no longer belonged to me and there is no obligation on the departments part, no matter how the PGO is obtained, to ever re-evaluate the biological parents. And that I was living in a fantasy land if I ever though I would get my children back. She didn't know me. I immediately went to the police, as they never did even with the condition of my then 3yr old upon removal from my mothers. And started the investigation into my mother and her abuse with all 3 step kids agreeing to testify as well as my daughter.
My sons in the fall of 2012 were matched with a prospective family yet no meeting had taken place by the time I contacted their worker. The worker rushed the meeting and rushed them into this couples care at the other end of the province and then cut contact between my daughter and her brothers with no explanation to my daughter as to why once she and I started having visits. Then she passed my daughters file on to another worker. THis worker actually read the file and admitted to my face that grievous errors had been made. That I never abused my children or was an addict but since she did not have my sons file she could not return them but she could return my daughter to me. June of 2014 my daughter was permanently home. Dec 2014 her PGO was rescinded. In the spring of 2014 I learned of the new legislation that allows a parent to file to have the PGO reviewed by a judge. I immediately filed. I had no lawyer, I had no legal help what so ever. What I had was an intense knowledge of this case that no one else had, I was a mother who had never given up proving I was fit, able and willing. In June of 2014 I received full disclosure from the department of my childrens file and I was completely appalled by what I saw. They knew of the abuse. My mother turned on every person working with my children and her within 2 months of contact with me being cut. Even knowing and having doctors records, witness statements and so on of the abuse they still did not go to police, seek child lead therapy for my children or even contact me admitting their mistake or to work with reuniting my children and I. They instead proceeded to cover it up. I demanded a trial. I was bringing ever professional support person I had brought into my life to show my fitness to trial. I had proven so well that my home was fit and I was mentally capable of parenting that I never lost custody of my 4th, got my daughter back and now am on a journey where our family will be growing even more. CFS here in the city I now reside in has deemed us fit and when a criminal records check was done my partner and I are both cleared for the vulnerable sectors search. I had 6 professional witness, all working for, funded for, or contracted with CFS here in my city testifying to watching me parent regularly over a long period of time and to how fit I am. The trial was 2 weeks long. I self represented.
And the verdict? I was CLEARED of ever abusing my children. I was CLEARED of ever being an addict. The judge deemed me fit, able and willing to take my sons back. So why do I not have them in my custody? Because of legislation. The Alberta legislation is written so that no matter how a PGO is granted that after it is granted, if the parent can't afford to appeal within 30 days of the verdict(my case), that there is 0 obligation to ever consider the parents for re-evaluation. It does not matter if you prove clear prejudice. It does not matter if the workers involved in pursuing the PGO admit in hindsight that they were wrong and if they could go back they would not pursue removing my children from me(I have their own records to prove this). It does not matter if you prove omitted facts, prove altered records, prove the workers perjured themselves. It does not matter that you can prove clear prejudice(their own records show this). So because they cut contact between my sons and I with no court order and refused to re-establish it no matter the hundreds of times I asked, because of "Best Interest of the Child" I lost part b of the trial. My sons, my daughter and myself now have a life sentence of never seeing each other. Why? What crime did we commit? I was cleared after fighting to prove my fitness for 7yrs. Fighting incredible odds to do so. My children were literally LEGALLY KIDNAPPED. Is that the justice system in Canada. That a parent can commit no crime, prove they are innocent of all charges and still lose their children permanently?
I am asking for an investigation into CFS (city names removed). I am asking for an investigation into my childrens file and the workers involved as I can assure you the criminal acts shown in their own records is appalling. I am also asking for an investigation into how this legislation in Alberta is written. No family, who proves they are innocent and fights so hard to get their children back, should have a life sentence of being destroyed while the actual abuser and the workers who did not do their jobs continue to do what they are doing. If a family proves they are innocent and shows they are fit then the family should be reunited with access to all supports to help that reunification happen. I have fought for 7yrs to clear my name. I won that. I will continue to fight to have my story heard till someone, somewhere stops this from happening to anyone else and my family finally sees justice. I can assure you I am not going away.
My partner and I voted for you. We saw you as a man of integrity, justice, and a family man. How long would you fight to have your children returned to you if you knew you lost custody on the lies and lack of ethics of other people?"
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